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November 13, 2014 - Image 11

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-11-13

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level professional team
Jordan Morgan, then a
freshman. "Our expectat
the team were extremely
"I don't even think the
necessarily thought thatv
be an NCAA team," s
Horford. "That's not tot
didn't want that to ultim
the result, but I would
going into the season that
going to be a tournament t
After opening the
season with three straig
the Wolverines went to.
City, New Jersey, to pla
Legends Classic against
Syracuse and UTEP. M
would lose to both, thoug
three to the Orange - it:
six losses to ranked oppoi
fewer than 10 points that
Despite the losses,
Beilein saw potential in h
With a trip to Clemson
horizon for the Big T
Challenge, Beilein saw an
to get the the Wolverines
track, as well as an oppc
to get the program its firs
the challenge in five year
"We went to Clen
remember that - that wz
place that was
a checkmark
on everybody's
schedule,"4
Beilein said. "If
you can win at th
Clemson with
this young sea
team, and then
we went and we
*on by double
digits. That
was a moment
we said, 'Wow, we could
something with this groi
stay the course with wht
doing.'"
And for a while, tha
what Michigan did,t
seven straight games.
Then came the stretc
hell.
At Wisconsin, home
No. 3 Kansas and No. 2 Oh
at Indiana and Northwest
home against No. 15 Minn
Michigan would win
those games.
"It was frustrating,"
said. "Everybody was1
frustrated. We couldn't re
it together. They weren't
losses. We lost some close
games we think we shot
won."
Indeed, the Wolverine
have won a few of them.
They went to overtime

s," said Kansas, before the Jayhawks
redshirt pulled away to win 67-60. And it
ions for nearly made up a 12-point second-
low." half deficit against the Buckeyes.
coaches But it came up short in each of
we could those.
aid Jon
say they
ately be
not say Douglass catches the ball with
this was less than five seconds on the shot
eam." clock and 23 seconds left in the
regular game.
ht wins, It's decision time. Draymond
Atlantic Green is approaching Douglass,
y in the ready to defend.
t No. 9 The fate of Michigan's season,
tichigan the team's well-being and perhaps
h just by even Beilein's tenure are riding
s first of on what Douglass does next.
nents by Douglass' fingers are caressing
season, the ball. Green is about to jump in
though, his face.
is team. A decision needs to be
on the made immediately to not only
en-ACC determine the fate of the game,
opening but the fate of the program.
back on
ortunity
t win in
s. Though Michigan battled,
nson, I the losing streak continued. The
as like a team got blown out at Indiana and
then suffered an
embarrassing
14-point loss to
'If we win Northwestern.
With a new
is game, the coaching staff,
including first-
son is turned year assistant
coaches Bacari
around." Alexander and
LaVall Jordan,
as well as Jeff
Meyer in his
be onto first full year on the sideline, a
up. Just new culture was in place.
at we're But if Michigan didn't turn it
around quickly, a culture change
at's just might have been necessary.
winning Beilein might not have been back
at the helm for a fifth year.
h from As much as the coaching staff
helped preach a new mindset, it
against was up to the players to adapt it.
io State, "It was getting to a point
:ern and where we had to put our minds
esota. where we could make a change,"
none of Morgan said.
It was following the
Morgan Northwestern game that Beilein
kind of tried to instill confidence in his
eally get downward-spiraling team.
all bad "I remember Coach (Beilein)
games, telling that team they're going
Ad have to be an NCAA Tournament
(team)," Alexander said. "This
s could team, this program, is going to be
in the NCAA Tournament. And
against we lost that game, and I thought

1B Friday, November 14, 2014 // Tip Off
We'll see you in Indianapolis

it inspired a belief and gave the
group some hope."
But things only got worse when
Michigan lost to Minnesota by
five.
"When you look at the
Minnesota game, it was just a
perfect storm," Alexander said,
"a culmination of us trying to find
our identity at a time when we
were still establishing that on the
court."
For Beilein, the pressure was
mounting. After being ranked in
the preseason a year earlier and
then ultimately missing out on
the NCAA Tournament and NIT,
some began to call for his job
after the 1-6 conference start.
"I think he probably was (on
the hot seat)," Morgan said.
"One year, you're going to the
tournament. The next year, you're
ranked in the preseason and we
didn't even make the NIT. To
come in and have another terrible
season ... I think that put a lot of
pressure on him. It put pressure
on the players. We just wanted to
do well."
Added Beilein: "It was a real
low point in that season. And in
my coaching tenure, it was a low
point."
Beilein wanted to believe the
type of play the team showed in
the non-conference season and in
earlier losses would come back.
Michigan had played too many
close games to not show anything

for its effort. But at the same time,
Beilein had his doubts.
"I know in this business, when
you're paid my salary, when you
have this type of commitment to
the basketball program, you're
not going to survive - you have
to win enough games," he said.
"One and six in the Big Ten.
So, do we go 1-17? That's going
through your mind sometimes.
When you lose at Northwestern
by 25 points, right? And you lose
to Minnesota at home. You're
thinking, 'When are we going to
win another game?"'

meeting almost," Novak said.
"We kind of looked at each other
and said, 'Alright, it's time to turn
this around.'"
At some point, the team had
to click. But with Michigan State
next on the docket, would it
happen in East Lansing?
"We had nobody with really any
experience playing (at Michigan
State) or being successful there,"
Morgan said. "Going there, we
didn't know what to expect,
especially the way things had
been going."

was going through some
Michigan Daily volumes
recently and came across one
from 2015. Shocked that I had
records from the future in my
hand, I peeked to see what was
in store. I don't want to ruin any
big surprises, but there are a few
things you should keep an eye
out for.
SPOILER ALERT: Hillary
Clinton ends up running for
President. The Denver Broncos
beat the Arizona Cardinals in the
Super Bowl.
The Ebola
thing, people
stop talking
about that
and resume
conversation
about the
Kardashians. SIMON
In Michigan KAUFMAN
news, the
football team
has a new
coach, and people already want
him fired. There's a series of Mac
computer thefts in February and
the local news labels the suspect
"The Apple Eater." That mild
winter they said we were going
to have didn't happen, but the
University does get its second
snow day in as many years. And
finally, the men's basketball team
doesn't disappoint.
Check out this excerpt from
March 31, 2015.
CLEVELAND - With time
expiring and the Michigan men's
basketball team down two points
in its Midwest Regional matchup
at Quicken Loans Arena,freshman
forward D.J. Wilson caught a pass
from fellow freshman forward
Kameron Chatman. Wilson cocked
the ball over his right shoulder,
fired and knocked down a contested
3-pointer.
Game over.
And for the second time in three
years, the Wolverines are headed to
the Final Four.
Don't believe me?
I'm not claiming to be Marty

If
TERESA MATHEW/Daily
ed when they doit again in 2015.
freshman Austin Hatch can
inspire his teammates to believe
that loss doesn't prevent future
triumph, Michigan will play in
Indy.
If freshman Ricky Doyle and
redshirt freshman Mark Donnal
can become a formidable tandem
down low, Michigan will play in
Indy.
And if John Beilein does
what he does best - turn under-
recruited high school kids into
NBA draft picks - Michigan will
play in Indy.
This team is young, new and
for the most part, it hasn't been
there before. But they're not
selling themselves short. Neither
should you.
One last thing: The snow day, I
was kidding about that.
See you in Indy.
Kaufman can be reached
atsikauf@umich.edu and

The Michigan men's basketball team wasn't supposed to do as well as it did in recent years, which is why you shouldn't be surpris

Without hesitation, Douglass
Beilein called the team out releases the ball from his hands.
after the Minnesota game. The Green is hanging in the air.
players knew their effort wasn't "When I shot it, Draymond
enough. (Green) contested it pretty well,"
They decided to hold a players- Douglass wrote in an e-mail. "I
only meeting to hash things out. didn't even really see the shot
They had to until it was
become more touching the
accountable. net."
They had to "I didn't even Taking a,
become more high-arcing
coachable. see the shot." path, the ball
They'd rotates toward
had flashes the basket as
of good play the players on
but couldn't put it together. The Michigan's bench rise from their
players believed in Beilein's seats.
principles. They believed they Seemingly in slow motion, the
truly had the pieces for a good ball swishes through the net.
team. Michigan is up by five with less
"It was like a coming-to-Jesus than 20 seconds left in the game.

McFly or Phil Diff
probably wouldn't
me have if I had to]
Burke 3-pointer tal
Michigan coach Jo
pocket would send
team to Atlanta, or
starters from that:
team would be in t
years later.
You wouldn't
have bought that
a lanky kid from
Mississauga,
Ontario would
be the 2014 Big
Ten Player of
the Year and
the program's
highest NBA
draft pick in 14
years.
You might not h
that an under-recri
who grew up in De
the shoes of the pr
Naismith Award w

y, but you And you sure wouldn't have
have believed put your money on a guard that
ld you a Trey hasn't broken six feet - but nearly
ken from inside broke Louisville fans' hearts
hn Beilein's in the National Championship
the 2012-13 game - and a gangly junior who
that all five wore braces for his first two
Final Four seasons becoming the faces of the
he NBA two program.
You wouldn't have believed a
team that lost
Burke and Tim
Spoiler alert: HardawayJr.
Hillary Clinton another March
run. SoI don't
ends up running expect you to
book tickets to
for President Indianapolis for
ateam that just
lost five players
- three to the
ave predicted NBA, one to graduation and one
uited freshman who transferred.
troit could fill No, this is not the same team as
ogram's first last year, and it sure isn't the same
inner. squad as two years ago. This is a

group with six true freshmen and
just three upperclassmen.
But if Caris LeVert can take a
page from Nik Stauskas' book and
have the swagger to complement
his skillset, Michigan will play in
Indy.
If Chatman can prove why
coaches from Oregon, Arizona and
Connecticut were drooling over
him, Michigan will play in Indy.
If sophomore Andrew Dakich
can finda new bench buddy, and
new reasons to dance, Michigan
will play in Indy.
If sophomore Zak Irvin can
attack the rim and force defenders
to give him some room from
behind the arc, Michigan will play
in Indy.
If guards Spike Albrecht and
Derrick Walton can share the ball,
and a good deal of the leadership,
Michigan will play in Indy.
If Wilson can play half as
loudly as his hair, Michigan will
play in Indy.

FOLLOW THESE WRITERS IMMEDIATELY.
IF YOU DON'T, THEY'RE FIRED: @danfeldman3l, @slkauf, @mbultman, @jakelourim, @levfacher
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